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A Brief History of Genetic Modification in Agriculture

25/11/2023 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST


A Brief History of Genetic Modification in Agriculture

At some point, humans believed they could mold and manipulate their natural food supplies to suit their needs better. This domestication of plants changed the course of human history by helping enable brain development as well as structuring populations into larger cities. Many early civilizations thrived and some fell based on their agricultural output as most growth conditions heavily relied on the climate. Modification of plants generally relied on a crude form of artificial selection of picking each season’s best plants and replanting them. In modern times, the scale of food production to meet population needs has also required a dramatic change to our breeding to select for large-scale output as well as even shipping. In the late 20th century, a new method of plant modification via molecular biology dramatically changed how we can modify plants. And it came as no surprise that major yield gains have come about in those crops amenable to that modification. Although, along with that technology came those resistant to its usage. Modern computational power has also changed how breeding works. But, at the current pinnacle of plant biotech, we now have the ability to directly manipulate the genetic code of most plants via site-specific DNA cutters like CRISPR. 

This presentation gives a historical overview of these changes to modern day. 

Presentation by Stephen L. Gasior PhD


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST




Stephen Gasior
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